Statutory Authority

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Involvement in Water Issues

Property of the State

The property of the people of the state includes all wild animals, fur-bearing animals, wild birds, and wild fowl inside the borders of this state; all fish and other aquatic animal life contained in the freshwater rivers, creeks, and streams and in lakes or sloughs subject to overflow from rivers or other streams within the borders of this state; all the beds and bottoms and the products of the beds and bottoms of the public rivers, bayous, lagoons, creeks, lakes, bays, and inlets in this state and of that part of the Gulf of Mexico within the jurisdiction of this state.TP & W Code §1.011(a)-(c)

The property of the state includes water of the ordinary flow, underflow, and tides of every flowing river, natural stream, and lake, and of every bay or arm of the Gulf of Mexico, and the storm water, floodwater, and rainwater of every river, natural stream, canyon, ravine, depression, and watershed. Tex. Water Code §11.021 State Water.

General Authority

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and Commission (TPWD):

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)

Except for certain specified activities, no person may appropriate, store, take or divert state water without first obtaining a permit from the TCEQ. Tex. Water Code §11.121 Permit Required.

Texas Water Development Board (TWDB)

TWDB to plan and develop water resources. Tex. Water Code §§16.001-16.624 Provisions Generally Applicable to Water Development.

TPWD Involvement in Water Permitting Process

Notice & Party Status

TCEQ must send TPWD a copy of all permit applications to store, take or divert water. TPWD must make recommendations to the TCEQ to protect fish and wildlife resources. TPWD may be a full party in any hearing on an application to store, take or divert water. TCEQ must consider information, evidence and testimony offered by TPWD. TP & W Code §12.024 Water Permit Responsibilities; Tex. Water Code §11.147(f) Effects of Permits on Bays and Estuaries and Instream Uses.

Considerations in Permitting Process

Consideration in Assessing Penalty

In determining the administrative penalty for unlawfully taking, diverting or appropriating state water, or for violating a permit condition, the TCEQ must consider the impact of the violation on the instream uses, water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, or beneficial freshwater inflows to bays and estuaries. Tex. Water Code §7.053 Factors to be Considered in Determination of Penalty Amount. Tex. Water Code 11.0842(c)(2) Administrative Penalty.

Notice of Emergency Orders

TPWD is entitled to notice of emergency order of TCEQ regarding emergency or temporary suspension of a permit condition relating to beneficial inflows to affected bays and estuaries and instream uses Tex. Water Code §5.506 Emergency Suspension of Permit Condition Relating to Beneficial Inflows to Affected Bays and Estuaries and Instream Uses, Tex. Water Code 11.148 Emergency Suspension of Permit Conditions

Bays & Estuaries

Instream Flow

TPWD, TWDB and TCEQ have joint responsibility for establishing and maintaining an instream flow data collection and evaluation program. The priority studies are to be completed by December 31, 2010. Tex. Water Code §16.059 Collection of Instream Data; Conduct of Studies.

Water and Development Planning


Drought Preparation

TPWD Involvement in Water Quality Issues

Water Quality Monitoring and Standards

Discharges and Discharge Permits